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Many of the immigrants who went to Jamaica signed Indenture Agreements, and became Indentured Servants. Under the terms of these Agreements, the "Master" would provide the "Servant" with his passage to Jamaica, clothes, food and drink, washing, lodging, and a small annual salary, and the "Servant" would agree to serve in Jamaica for a certain number of years.

The document below is an example of such an Agreement to Serve. A transcription is followed by the image of the document itself.


London, the 30th Day of June
One Thousand, Seven Hundred and 1739

Be it remember'd that Patrick Burke of Dublin in the Kingdom of Ireland Bookkeeper his Father and Mother being dead, did by Indenture bearing like Date herewith, agree to serve Joseph Whilton of London Chapman, or his assigns four years in Jamaica In the Employment of a Bookkeeper at 30 li [i.e. £30] per annum Current Money of Jamaica and did declare himself to be then of the Age of Eighteen Years, a single Person, no Apprentice, nor Covenant or Contracted Servant to any other Person or Persons.  And the said Master did thereby Covenant at his own Cost, to send his said Servant to the said Plantation; and at the like Costs to find him all necessary [crossed out - Clothes] Meat, Drink, Washing, and Lodging as other Servants in such Cases are usually provided for, and allowed, excepted provided he understands the business of a Bookkeeper.

Patrick Burke

Allow'd the 28th of July 1739
before me
Micajah Perry, Mayor
[then Lord Mayor of London]


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